Dear Frederick Gough School, Scunthorpe,

Under the terms of the FOI Act 2000, I request the following information.

I am researching the use of “safety tech”, digital monitoring tools (software and services that monitor children’s online and offline activity) in UK schools. Please can you provide the following information.

Please break out total numbers annually, by your academic year or calendar year depending on the information you have available, since 2015 (the most recent 5 years) or since you began use, if less than five years ago:

1. Which company and product you use for this (for example Impero, NetSupport DNA, Smoothwall etc)

2. How many alerts in total were generated annually. Please provide the total number and grouped by (a) severity, ie 750 high level alerts and (b) how many by which category type i.e 250 self harm, 250 bullying, 250 extremism etc.

3. For how many children in total, the alerts (in 2) were created.

4. For how many children a photograph was taken (triggered in the alert process by the child’s device webcam for example.)

5.Confirm how many referrals for how many children in total were made (from your pupils on roll) to the Prevent programme (annual totals).

6. Please confirm (a) whether or not such monitoring has been operational on digital activity while pupils are at home in lockdown and (b) numbers of alerts if known separately for the lockdown periods versus not.

7. Please provide a current copy of the policy that explains the use of such a system to the child and/or family.

8. How many staff or others currently, have access to the information generated about pupils from the system (ie 5, two DSLs, 2 network staff, 1 Head plus x number of the company staff can view the alerts generated).

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jen Persson

Admin admin, Frederick Gough School, Scunthorpe

1 Attachment

Dear Frederick Gough School, Scunthorpe,

Under the terms of the FOI Act 2000, I request the following
information.

I am researching the use of “safety tech”, digital monitoring tools
(software and services that monitor children’s online and offline
activity) in UK schools. Please can you provide the following
information.

Please break out total numbers annually, by your academic year or
calendar year depending on the information you have available, since
2015 (the most recent 5 years) or since you began use, if less than five
years ago:

 1. Which company and product you use for this (for example Impero,
NetSupport DNA, Smoothwall etc) 

Section 31(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act provides an
exemption that allows information to be withheld for the purpose of
prevention and detection of crime.  

The school has made a decision to withhold any technical information
relating to IT Security and information relating to security
arrangements to ensure we do not weaken our security posture in any way.
We consider releasing this kind of information will make it easier for
cyber criminals to look for vulnerabilities to exploit. 

After we have applied this particular exemption, we are required to
carry out a Public Interest Test, to determine whether the public
interest in withholding the information you have requested is greater
than that of release. In this instance, the public interest in
withholding this information is still considered greater than that of
release, because the public interest in protecting the schools network
and systems and in this instance protecting our students from harm is
greater than the public interest that supports greater transparency of
how the school operates.

 2. How many alerts in total were generated annually. Please provide the
total number and grouped by (a) severity, ie 750 high level alerts
and (b) how many by which category type i.e 250 self harm, 250
bullying, 250 extremism etc.

The school has just completed a software trial and therefore do not
currently have access to these figures.

 3. For how many children in total, the alerts (in 2) were created.  

The school has just completed a software trial and therefore do not
currently have access to these figures.

 4. For how many children a photograph was taken (triggered in the alert
process by the child’s device webcam for example.)

The school do not carry out this process.

5.Confirm how many referrals for how many children in total were made
(from your pupils on roll) to the Prevent programme (annual totals).

The school have made no referrals within the past 12 months.

6. Please confirm (a) whether or not such monitoring has been
operational on digital activity while pupils are at home in lockdown and
(b) numbers of alerts if known separately for the lockdown periods
versus not.  The schools has introduced software on all devices that
were loaned out to students over the lockdown period. The school has
just completed a software trial and therefore do not currently have
access to these figures.

7. Please provide a current copy of the policy that explains the use of
such a system to the child and/or family.

Please find the requested policy attached. 

8. How many staff or others currently, have access to the information
generated about pupils from the system (ie 5, two DSLs, 2 network staff,
1 Head plus x number of the company staff can view the alerts
generated).

2 staff members have access to this information.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jen Persson

Dear Admin,

Your s31 exception is somewhat undermined by being on at least one company website as a case study of use, and your staff feature it in its promotion.

If you would like to respond and confirm you only use Smoothwall, that would be welcome.

Sincerely,

Jen Persson